easy hiking trails in phoenix

If you’re looking for a trail that is easy enough for your whole family to enjoy, you will definitely want to check out these trails found throughout Arizona. Kiwanis Trail snakes its way up through a rock-studded canyon. Best Easy Day Hikes Phoenix includes concise descriptions and detailed maps of mostly short, easy-to-follow trails that lead to some of the most scenic destinations in the area. Subscribe to azcentral.com today. Pinnacle Peak is a stretch for beginners, but the view is worth it. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is full of easy, moderate and difficult hiking trails – you can find yourself spending all day in this natural preserve. You’ll also want to watch for petroglyphs etched into boulders by ancient Hohokam people. Length: 2.1-mile loop; 3.1 miles if Mariposa Hill and Fairy Duster trails are added. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net. Here are 15 hikes not to miss near Phoenix. Explore the best trails in Phoenix, Arizona on TrailLink. Mixing switchbacks and rolling hills, the trail is a wonderful way to explore the lush desert teeming with wildlife and plant life any time of year. If you're new to hiking, you may want to stick to the Circumference Trail, which, as the name suggests, is a loop trail that goes around the mountain. Here are 10 of Phoenix’s dog-friendly hikes we love all over the city to find the adventure with your best puppy pal! Hike Lost Dog Wash on a rainy afternoon, and you'll just about have the trail to yourself. A 1.6-mile flat trail through the north campground of McDowell Mountain Regional Park, this path is crisscrossed with many others that start around here. Details: 602-506-2930 Ext. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls. The trail ends at an overlook; squint and you can see Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West. North Mountain National Trail - Moderate. We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. The trail is fairly flat and easy, but provides stunning vistas of the desert area, especially at sunrise or sunset. Rejoining the Pemberton Trail guides you back to your starting point. The path is particularly special in the spring, when the land is covered by huge patches of colorful wildflowers. 1.75 miles out and back, so 3.5 miles total. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our terms of use, our cookies policy, and our privacy policy. Popular for joggers and dog-walkers. 11 Easy Hikes In Arizona Anyone Can Do. Walk an easy loop around the mountains or wind through Siphon Draw to see all Lost Dutchman has to offer. See the iconic rock formations while hiking in Papago Park. Support local journalism. Hiking through this trail is easy for beginners, and it is also dog- and kid-friendly. Or follow him on Facebook or Twitter @AZRogerNaylor. If you want more of a workout, cross the road to the National Trail, where a short, steep climb leads to the Telegraph Pass lookout perched atop a ridge. Being almost out of town, it features cleaner air and a nicer drive to get to than some of the aforementioned trails. Now what trails are you ready to tackle? However, this 3.3-mile trail is just west of Lake Pleasant, making it a good hike to round out your boating experience. Giant saguaros tower over the trail that skirts past a solar oasis pond, a popular watering hole for all sorts of critters. With beautiful views of the North Valley and a unique desert-scape, the trail is worth doing twice — as you will have to when you get to the end and turn around to return to your car. It resembles a Flintstone-era gazebo but was actually built by the CCC. On the shores of Lake Pleasant, the 2-mile long Wild Burro Trail rambles across low hills and skirts the edge of intimate coves. A multipurpose path that is just over a mile, the Big Butte Loop Trail is easily accessed via nearby popular destinations like the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden. To the south is the finger thrust of Weavers Needle poking through the furious clutter of the Superstition Mountains. With proper shoes, a good amount of water, and comfortable clothes, these five hikes (listed from easiest to most challenging) are feasible for any beginner looking to explore the desert trails in metro Phoenix. Jane Rau is a longtime local community activist and educator. CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: California Privacy Policy | California Collection Notice | Do Not Sell My Info. Represented by its massive sandstone buttes, Papago Park features four easy trails and unmatched views of the Tempe area. Contact Us, GET OUT:McDowell Mountain park is pretty busy. With hikes varying from half-hour strolls to full-day adventures, Best Easy Day Hikes Phoenix is for everyone, including families. Piestewa Summit Trail. If the blast-furnace heat of summer kept you off the trails for months, you’ll want to ease into things. The gravel path of the Kiwanis Trail gains almost 500 feet in elevation, so perhaps it should get a moderate rating. "The trail goes steeply up and up, the terrain is rocky; there are a couple of spots where you may have to be on all fours or hold on to fencing/ railing or whatever you can find to hoist yourself up there." Best Easy Day Hikes Phoenix features concise descriptions and easy-to-follow maps of thirty-three easily manageable hikes through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Valley of the Sun—from Piestewa Peak, which dominates Phoenix's northern skyline, to McDowell Mountain, Pinnacle Peak, and Lost Dutchman State Park. The barrier-free trail meets accessibility standards. Hiking is definitely a favorite Arizona activity but not everyone wants—or is able—to participate in the impressively long and arduous trails. It soon crosses the creek, which flows at trickle level most times. This out-and-back trail is one of the longer ones on the list (2.2 miles each way), but the terrain has very little up-and-down, making it a good choice for novice hikers. If you are just getting accustomed to walking over uneven dirt surfaces and aren’t quite ready to take on the ups and downs of many trail surfaces, the canal paths are for you. It stays fairly level for the first half before tilting upward. Looking into hiking trails near Phoenix, I was blown away by the incredible variety, easy access, and true beauty of the three massive mountain reserves within a stone’s throw from the city. Despite the slight confusion at various forks in the road, it is a straightforward trail through washes and luscious desert. A little farther on you’ll find an ancient grinding stone, known as a metate. This article originally appeared in 2013 and has been updated. New Times recommends five easy hikes that are great for beginners in metro Phoenix, including McDowell Mountain Park's North Trail, South Mountain's Pima … up and back) is a jewel." The new year is upon us, which means that metro Phoenix hiking trails are packed not only with seasoned trekkers, but resolutioners aiming to hike more in 2021. With proper shoes, a good amount of water, and comfortable clothes, these five hikes (listed from easiest to most challenging) are feasible for any beginner looking to explore the desert trails in metro Phoenix. The canals throughout central Phoenix provide some of best easy off-pavement hiking in the city. Jane Rau Trail, McDowell Sonoran Preserve When it comes to exploring the vast McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the largest urban preserve in the United States, options can be overwhelming. This trail lets you get away from the crowd. Catch your breath while you soak up the wide-ranging vistas. At the very end of the trail, you’ll be able to take a picture with the “End of Pinnacle Peak Trail” sign. After entering the park, turn right on South Park Road, then left on Desert Tortoise Road. While on the Circumference Trail, don't forget to be on the lookout for some of the petroglyphs that dot the landscape. If other trails seem like a walk in the park, you’re probably ready to tackle this exhilarating climb in the Superstition Mountains. All rights reserved. Fairy Duster Loop (0.6 mile) circles a terrace above the creek bed shaggy with plant life. The Scenic Trail would be especially beautiful following a wet winter because the slopes are covered with brittlebush. 6. 3, www.maricopacountyparks.net. Almost everyone you see heading up the trail has a … By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Papago Park’s hiking trails are known to be relatively easy and smooth. All rights reserved. Lost Dog Wash is an ideal trail for new hikers. If you’ve never been, start with the easy to moderate trails. Savor the big scenic views and admire the saguaros as tall as office buildings. Circulation, The proximity to hiking trails is one of the best things about living in the Valley, and Lookout Mountain is just one example. All trails are multi-use including hiking, biking and horseback riding. A walk through this 1,200-acre park will give also give beginner hikers access to popular Phoenix landmarks such as the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden along Papago’s Big Butte Loop Trail, which is … The most well known of them all is Piestewa Peak; a 2.3 mile out and back trail that leaves you feeling absolutely accomplished every time. North Mountain is a great hike for small children and mamas. Easy. FAMILY HIKING:Phoenix barrier-free and stroller-friendly trails open the outdoors to all. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Brown’s Mountain, a slanted hump rising from the desert floor, and the smooth precision of neighboring Cone Mountain add vertical notes to the skyline. Best hikes in Phoenix; trails for every ability, Hiking at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Phoenix barrier-free and stroller-friendly trails open the outdoors to all, Lake Pleasant is a desert oasis near Phoenix. Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix. Where: 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Details: 602-506-2930, ext. "I've hiked all over the world and this short but very challenging hike (2.4 mi. Treat yourself to a surprising bit of lushness at this park spread across upland Sonoran Desert and carved by a spring-fed stream. From the trailhead, you can see the trail snaking up the wall of rock in front of you. The well-defined trail is always monitored by the granite sentinel that is Pinnacle Peak. SUBSCRIBE NOW $3 for 3 months. LIKE TO HIKE? Just don’t let the rating undersell their attractions. Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Details: 602-506-2930, ext. Take in the views on this desert walk, as the McDowell Mountain range will provide a lovely backdrop to this meandering desert trail. ©2021 Phoenix New Times, LLC. Along the way you’ll pass two small check dams built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Careers, The proximity to hiking trails is one of the best things about living in the Valley, and Lookout Mountain is just one example. But be alert for animal sightings because, as the name implies, this is one of the best chances to see wild burros in the park. Even trails regarded as easy reward alert hikers in countless ways. Look inside for: Half-hour strolls to full-day adventures Maybe this will help. Getting to the Summit of Piestewa at Phoenix Mountain Preserve is the second busiest hiking spot in the city. Trailhead is on Desert Tortoise Road. There are several trails that fork off from Lost Dog; when you get a little more sure of yourself, try Sunrise or one of the other paths in the area. The trail is located in a heavily residential area of north Phoenix, and it's a popular spot with hikers in that part of town. Clusters of saguaros dot the shoulders of the hills, including a rare crested saguaro — crested on an arm instead of the top —near a midway bench. Help, Phoenix's independent source of local news and culture. A gentle hillside loop is one of the best. The McDowell Mountains rise in the west and to the east is the distinctive profile of Four Peaks, flanked by green fields of the Fort McDowell Reservation. McDowell Mountain Regional Park lets hikers feel very far away from the city. These five easy hikes around metro Phoenix are good for beginners and have plenty of scenic highlights to keep expert hikers engaged too. Start on the Siphon Draw Trail through the airy open desert until you hike up inside a basin of smooth, polished rock. The last 1.5 miles is unpaved but suitable for all vehicles. North Mountain is one of the most dog-friendly hikes we’ve done. Staff, CHECK OUT:Lake Pleasant is a desert oasis near Phoenix. These five hiking trails range in level of difficulty from easy to difficult, traversing over 20 miles of desert terrain. This big park north of Fountain Hills offers more than 50 miles of trails. A short (0.2 mile) side trip on the Towhee Trail leads through a mesquite forest with views of Cave Creek peeping through. The path is 2.2 miles without a lot of elevation gain, but if you want to challenge yourself, you can attempt to summit the mountain (it's an extra .9 miles up and down and involves some scrambling near the top). Where: Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, 30301 N. Alma School Road, Scottsdale. Yet the trail is less about big vistas and more about small details. Admission: $3 per person, free for age 14 and younger. Please remember they are wild, and keep a safe distance. The last leg of the trail climbs gently into the hills before ending near the southern terminus of Pipeline Canyon Trail. GO EXPLORE:Best hikes in Phoenix; trails for every ability. Phoenix is home to more than 41,000 acres of desert parks and mountain preserves, and more than 200 miles of trails. Details: 480-998-7971, www.mcdowellsonoran.org. Scenic Trail: A loop in the McDowell Mountains that lives up to its name, with mountain vistas among proud saguaros over vivid desert. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. This trail lets you get away from the crowd, Hike of the week: Kiwanis Trail, South Mountain, www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/south-mountain, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. My favorite easy trail is a combination of Trails 100 and 306. :Hike of the week: Kiwanis Trail, South Mountain. Skip Rimsza Paseo Trails In The Sonoran Desert Preserve The Sonoran Desert Preserve, one of the newest dedicated natural spaces in North Phoenix, offers miles of trails for hikers of all levels in a pristine desert environment. Conveniently located near Shea Boulevard and 124th Street, Lost Dog is a popular trail, and on weekend mornings you'll encounter people of all ages (some with dogs), mountain bikers, and even the occasional horseback rider. At the end of the trail, a small cave is an added bonus. A level hike, the path is a geologist's dream, surrounded by interesting rock formations, though also providing us normal people with lovely views of the Valley and a nice desert escape in the middle of town. Here's everything you can do there. Phoenix, AZ hikes range from strenuous summit trails to easy waterfall walks – and everything in between. Branching off from the rangy Pemberton Trail, Scenic makes a relatively easy loop climbing to the crest of the rolling Lousley Hills. The trail that bears her name circles through a picturesque wash in the preserve, punctuated by tall saguaros and clumps of boulders. Watch for wildlife and enjoy plenty of mild winter sunshine. To know before you go hiking ending near the southern terminus of Pipeline Canyon.... Giant saguaros tower over the city community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix, we recommend stopping the. 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Phoenix are good for beginners and have plenty of scenic highlights to keep expert hikers engaged too,... ' X ' or continuing to use the site, you can see the trail that a! Our many years living in the 1930s Shaw Butte reach heights of just over 2,100 feet with panoramic. Pleasant is a short ( 0.2 mile ) side trip on the Towhee trail leads through lovely! And customize content and advertisements journalism in Phoenix, we recommend stopping at the end the! Food, music and culture starting point sunrise or sunset easy hiking trails in phoenix expert hikers engaged too to round out your experience. To mind elevation, so 3.5 miles total Lloyd Wright 's Taliesin west Wild! Yourself to a surprising bit of lushness at this park spread across upland Sonoran desert hiking... Music and culture, and you can Do there, McDowell Mountain park Drive which. Welcomes us again with open arms 30301 N. 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easy hiking trails in phoenix 2021